Chapter 12 : Shot to the Heart
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Scorpius Malfoy sat in the dimly lit family room at Malfoy manor wishing he was somewhere else. The tree sitting in the corner surrounded by ornately wrapped gifts, the crackling fire in the expansive fireplace, the smell of Christmas dinner wafting in from the dining room, could not distract him from thoughts of Lily. He wondered how she would react to his gift. Catching his father’s look from beside the tree, he thought back to his trip to Diagon Alley.
“Why is it so important that we go to Diagon Alley today Scorpius? You’ve already bought presents for everyone.”
“Oh?” Draco pierced him with another questioning look.
“Here it is Dad.” He led Draco into the magical jewelry shop and headed to the nearest glass case. He scanned the collection earrings, necklaces, and bracelets all imbued with magical properties to enhance the beauty of the wearer, confound the observer, or guard the hearts of lovers. An old man moved up beside the case. He looked down at Scorpius with a sneer.
“Your mum has plenty of jewelry, Scorpius.”
“It’s not for Mum.” Draco’s eyebrow rose higher.
“Is there anything I can do for you, sir?” Scorpius dismissed the man’s distain in his eagerness to find Lily the perfect gift.
“Yes, I’m looking for something special for a girl. Something…to…make her happy,” he ended, not sure if this description was adequate enough. The shopkeeper lifted an eyebrow at this. “She’s been unhappy lately and I want something to cheer her up.” He felt his father’s stare but pushed the inevitable confrontation aside for the moment.
The shopkeeper eyed him quizzically for several moments and then said with much less frigidness, “I think I have exactly what you are looking for.” He led him to a case in the back of the store. Displayed on a velvet pillow surrounded by rings and bracelets lay a simply set opal pendant. Scorpius read on the card above it:
The Patronus Pendant-
Imbued with the powers of a patronus
This pendant amplifies the happy
Thoughts of the wearer, thereby
Protecting them from despair.
“This is it! That’s the one.” Scorpius turned to Draco who stood over his shoulder looking at the pendant.
“Scorpius, that pendant is 1,000 galleons! That’s all your savings from last year! I can’t let you waste money like this.”
“I’ll work again this summer. I have to have it. It’s exactly what she needs.”
“What who needs? Are you even going to tell me who you’re emptying your vault for?”
“Lily.” He waited for the tidal wave to crash over him as his father paled.
“Lily?” The catch in his father’s voice would have amused him normally, “You don’t mean Lily as in Potter’s girl?” He noticed the pleading in his father’s voice. Scorpius squared his shoulders and looked the man in the eye realizing what might come next.
“Yes, I do.” Draco seemed to shrink, but the shopkeeper who had observed this exchange cleared his throat interrupting the barrage of threats Scorpius was sure would follow.
“I can let you have the pendant for 700 galleons.” He noticed the soft look that had replaced the haughty one on the shopkeeper’s face. Scorpius nodded his head before Draco could respond.
“How much more would it cost to engrave a scorpion on the back?”
“Ten galleons.” Scorpius nodded again. “Would you like me to send it to the lady?”
“Yes please.” He scribbled Lily’s name down on a scrap of parchment the shopkeeper handed him.
“Would you like to include a note?”
“No, she’ll know it’s from me.” Draco dropped a bag of galleons on the counter and they both left the shop in silence. “You can take the money out of my vault.”
“Yes.” Draco mumbled.
They headed to the Leaky Cauldron, but his father did not lead him to the fireplace as he expected. Instead he took a seat in the corner of the pub and ordered two butterbeers.
“So, you…fancy Potter—I mean Lily?”
“Does she…um…feel the same?” He watched his father tug at his collar as though he couldn’t breathe properly.
“I don’t know yet.”
“Bit young isn’t she?”
“She’s a first year. I’m not much older than her, though.”
“No, no that’s true. What about Potter…I mean…how do you think her father will feel about a Malfoy fancying his daughter?”
“I don’t expect he’ll care much.”
“He hates us!”
“He hates you! What have I ever done to him?” Draco slumped back in his chair and Scorpius saw several people turn to look at them oddly. He wanted to feel sorry for his father, but for some reason he couldn’t. He couldn’t understand why his dad couldn’t be happy that he had found someone as wonderful as Lily to care for.
“Scorpius, I just don’t want to see you hurt.”
His thoughts were brought back to the present as his father handed him another parcel that he barely registered as the broomstick servicing kit he had been asking for before adding it to the pile beside him. He doesn’t want to see me hurt. Scorpius thought briefly of how he would feel if Lily rejected his gift. The idea discomfited him. The next gift passed to him caught his attention. The wrapping wasn’t the typical posh style of the previous gifts. This one wore brightly colored paper with a matching bow. He tore into it eagerly and found to his delight that it came from Lily.
“What is that?” His grandfather looked at the package of Whiz-bangs with a haughty sneer.
“Fireworks! Want to see?” He started to open the package to demonstrate only to be stopped by a harsh glare from his father’s direction. He pulled out the other rectangular object and saw it was a small mirror. He turned it over in his hand wondering why Lily would send him a mirror. The note in the bottom of the box caught his attention. Unfolding it he read:
I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated you these last few weeks at school. You really are my best friend and I thought as such you might enjoy these. My grandfather and his best friend had a pair and they used them to talk to each other when they were in separate detentions. I hope you like them. Maybe we can talk to each other later today. All you have to do is say my name.
He read the letter twice more lingering on the word love before finally folding it up and slipping it into his pocket to read again later. He stared down at the mirror itching to try it out but wanting to be alone when he did.
“What is that Scorpius?” His mother looked curiously at the mirror.
“A mirror! Why would anyone send you a mirror? Malfoy manor is full of mirrors.”
Not like this one, he thought. “I’m going to take my gifts up to my room.” He picked up all his presents and carried them up the grandiose staircase to his bedroom. He couldn’t wait to talk to Lily.
Scor dumped all his gifts except the mirror onto the end of his bed. He pushed his pillow against the headboard and leaned back against it. He looked down at the mirror.
“Lily,” he whispered. He knew it wasn’t “later today” but he was too anxious to see her face to care. Red hair flashed in the mirror and then he saw her brown eyes. His heart started pounding.
“Scor! How are you? Did you get my gift? Did you like it? Look at the lovely gift Shape got me.”
He felt his stomach drop as the Opal pendant, his pendant, came into view.
“Isn’t it amazing! I thought he didn’t notice me at all!”
“I can’t wait to thank him.”
“What else did you get for Christmas?”
“Oh…nothing special,” he mumbled, “listen I’d better go. I just wanted to say thanks.”
“Oh…okay. Well Happy Christmas.”
“Happy Christmas.” He laid the mirror on his bedside table and buried his head in his pillow. Happy Christmas indeed.
A/N: Thanks to those who have reviewed.
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